November 9

Proverbs 9:8-10 (NIV) 8Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you. 9Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning. 10"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

It takes a humble heart to receive correction. You can almost gauge your spiritual growth by how well you take rebuke. When we are prideful and immature, our first response is to pick out the wrong in the one who has come to instruct us. We may even voice what we think is wrong with them, just to show them that they are not without fault.

As we grow and God deals with our pride, we tend to listen without responding, and we may even thank the one who has taken the effort to correct us. But later, behind their back, we tell others how arrogant they were to pick out our fault when they have so many of their own. We may acknowledge some truth to their statement, but we console ourselves with justifications for our weakness. "After all, who is perfect?" we ask.

When we have failed like this a number of times and the voice of the LORD begins to get through our walls of our pride, we begin to understand that the LORD and His love for us is what makes us of value. Then, when a voice of correction comes, we may still flinch with pain from the blow, but we no longer look at the messenger. We know God allowed the messenger to come for our good. We take the message to the LORD and examine our condition. As we discern how much of the rebuke is true, we ask the LORD to help us express His life in that area, and not self. We take that old nature to the cross and leave it there. Then we can rejoice that the LORD has drawn us closer to Himself. We may even sincerely thank the messenger and ask for their help.

Consider: What a difference in our reaction to rebuke as we mature in spirit! At what stage are you?

November 9

Hebrews 2:9-11 (NIV) 9But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. 10In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering. 11Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers.

Jesus humbled Himself to become a man, setting aside His glory, to be one of us. Because He took the punishment of sin in our place, tasting death for everyone, God crowned Him with glory and honor. That should reveal to us the great heart of God who was willing to give His only Son, but also that He honors those who sacrifice for the good of others. Jesus sacrificed His life for the purpose of bringing many sons to glory. He left His glory so that He could bring you to glory.

The author of Hebrews often used nautical terms. There is an unusual one here in this passage. When a ship ran aground, the strongest, most capable swimmer was chosen to take a rope from the ship to the safety of the shore and secure it. The sailors could then cling to the rope and not be swept away by the current as they made their way to the safety of the shore. It is translated "author" here. You could also use the word "trailblazer". Jesus secured a line of safety for us to reach God.

He is our perfect Savior because He suffered all the things we suffer. He got in the boat with us and endured the storms of life with us. None of us could ever hope to make it to the safety of shore. Knowing that the boat of humanity had run aground and was about to be beaten to pieces, He joined our boat and suffered with us. He dove in and braved the currents and secured the rope to within the Holy of Holies in heaven. As we escape this storm we are brought right into the very presence of God, accepted in Christ, who became one of us.

Consider: He is our perfect trailblazer. He can show us the Way because He walked (swam) it for us.